If your business is focused on selling products or services to other companies, your B2B brand is undoubtedly bound to see growth and feel the pressure of ROI (return on investment) from your marketing.
Below are 9 Pretty Vicious Marketing trends that will help you tackle the challenges and opportunities for your brand.
1. CONTENT MARKETING
Content marketing is a great tactic for B2B marketers because the long #customerjourney means your customers will want to do plenty of research before purchasing and compare several different providers and part of that research will be reading your content. You should focus on establishing your brand as a leader in your field. Content marketing has been used in B2B for many years, but recently #inboundmarketing has been given more attention i.e sharing blogs and using social media. You need to ensure your brand has the right balance of content quantity, frequency and quality and of course, you’ll need to measure the ROI of your #contentmarketing.
Visual content marketing is even more important these days as it makes content more engaging, compelling, and shareable than just the written word. The most common forms of visual content that will be used in 2017 will be video (including 360-degree video), infographics, and images in blogs and social media posts.
2. CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE BALANCE
Probably the most impactful B2B marketing trend this year will be a tighter focus on improving the customer experience while driving growth. Your brand should be striving for a balanced approach to building customer loyalty. For example using “customer-focused” techniques that enable you to provide relevant experiences across all touchpoints (online, social, mobile) and concentrate on what your customers value most.
3. PEOPLE BRANDING
Traditional company branding and digital marketing efforts are no longer all it takes to sell your product and service. Especially in B2B environments, people branding is now considered a necessity as customers see individuals as the voices of companies. Buyers want to know the ‘why’ they should trust the leaders behind the companies they do business with.
4. INFLuENCE MARKETING
Everyone has influence. #Influencemarketing is the practice of finding the people who are already influencing your market. They will welcome your help to serve their audience better and reward you with reputation and trusted leads. B2B brands should partner with influencers who will focus more on social channels like LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, etc. Micro-influencers in the B2B space typically have fewer followers and less reach, but they also tend to be a lot more focused on one specific topic, which might be perfect for your niche brand.
5. NATIVE ADVERTISING
#nativeadvertising refers to content in an online publication that resembles editorial content but is paid for by an advertiser and intends to promote your products or services which is a viable alternative to traditional online banner and advertising. Native advertising is blurring the lines between advertising and content and will continue to grow — It’s less intrusive, can provide educational benefits for the reader, is more likely to be shared, and can be very cost-effective.
6. EXPERIENTIAL MARKETING
Instead of just sending a marketing message to a prospect, #experientialmarketing creates an opportunity for your customers and prospects to truly experience your brand, whether in a virtual setting or in person. As this trend grows in the consumer world, more and more B2B buyers will begin to expect the same from their suppliers. See our recent blog post on "Why your business needs experiential marketing" to educate yourself about the latest experiential marketing strategies and techniques and give some thought as to how you could integrate them into the interactions with your customers and prospects at trade shows, on their cell phones, etc., so they can “touch,” “taste,” and “feel” your brand.
7. SOCIAL MEDIA
B2B brands are becoming more successful at converting social media activities into sales leads. It provides opportunities to grab face time with tough-to-access people and to keep the referral pipeline well oiled. Your brand should be leveraging the tools to optimize relationships within your communities and reach clients.
8: MOBILE MARKETING
Mobile devices have officially overtaken desktops as the preferred method of viewing and downloading content on the web. By 2016, 50% of all B2B companies had implemented a responsive design for their websites, according to Gorilla Group. (Responsive design allows a website to be more easily viewed on smartphones, tablets, and notebooks.) That was almost double the percentage of sites with responsive design in 2015 (26%).
9. OUTSOURCED MARKETING
In an age where digital and social tools are all the rage, B2B brands are more frustrated than ever because they’re not getting what they want. By partnering with a professional marketer from Pretty Vicious who offers proven expertise across a wide expanse of sectors and industries, your brand can more quickly and efficiently realize significant, profitable growth.
Get in touch today and we'll discuss your current strategies, opportunities and ways of ensuring you're getting the most from the current marketing efforts.
You can also sign up to our newsletter to get cost-effective marketing ideas and stay on top of marketing industry trends.
Until next time...